Don't do it!
Instead, consider this: Most agents receive 30,000+ queries a year from writer's who are dying to be published. At most, a tenth of those actually receive requests for partials or fulls which means we're looking at a very small percentage of writers whose dreams aren't crushed during the first round. Chances are if you received some form of rejection letter, it doesn't necessarily mean you suck or that you'll never be published. It's true when they say agents really have to LOVE your story.
Does that help the pain a little? No, probably not, but it does make us feel just a teensy bit better that we aren't alone in that rejection club.
So what does it mean when you open that letter from that agent only to have your heart broken? Is there a way to read between the lines?
Honestly--unless there is a personal note somewhere on the rejection form...Nope. But after doing some research, I found these helpful tips:
- Standard Rejection Form: Here is where we automatically assume we suck. No writing, no tips, zilch. Now isn't that something to freak out over? Don't. Remember those 30,000+ queries a year? Yeah...how many would you be able to personalize? Maybe you just need to hone your skills a bit more?
- Rejection With Advice: Okay, so they didn't like it but at least they gave you a reason for it instead of letting your imagination run wild while you teeter dangerously on that balcony. (Or was it a bridge?)
- Rejection With A Personal Note: So they liked it enough to write with their own pen--eh, so to speak. Still a no but this time the agent took the time (and they don't often have a lot) to give you some encouraging words. Perhaps it's a: "Not for me but hope to see something else of yours in the future." Which means they want to be subjected to the wicked way with words you have. Yay! Or a "Liked it but not sure if people will buy it." So you got a good story, unfortunately so does every other Tom, Dick and Harry. Dern.
- Needs Revision but Please Submit Again: Sure it needs work but they're willing to wait for you to make the suggested changes to make a final decision. Which means you got a second chance to win them over!
Can you imagine if they'd given up? Thrown in the towel and went on to do other things with their lives? I'm feeling dizzy just thinking about it. They didn't give up and neither should you. Keep at it and hang in there when rejection comes a-calling. Keep in mind that what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. And while it might hurt your ego, a lot, it's not the end of the world or your writing career unless you allow it to be.
I hope this has lifted your spirits and given you something to think about. Until next time...